5 Effective Tips to Combat the Accountant Shortage in Australia

Posted by Angelica Garcia
Mar 26, 2024
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In recent years, the demand for accounting professionals has been consistently rising across firms in Australia. 

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Yet, there remains a nagging concern over why the shortage of accountants in the country is still increasing. These issues not only affect the operation of accounting firms but also hamper the overall economic growth of the country.  


In this article, we will discuss several reasons behind this shortage of accountants and propose solutions to combat this ongoing issue. 


Understanding the Shortage of Accountants in Australia 

The shortage of accountants in Australia is a pressing issue with several underlying causes. Here are some of the significant reasons behind this shortage: 


1. Lack of Skilled Professionals 

One primary cause of the accountant shortage in Australia is the lack of skilled professionals. The demand for accountants has been steadily increasing, but there are not enough individuals with the necessary expertise to meet this demand. This talent gap poses a significant challenge for the industry. 


2. Increased Workload and Burnout 

Another major factor contributing to the shortage of accountants is increased workload and burnout due to repetitive and longer hours of work that hinders accountants from achieving a healthy work/life balance. 


In fact, according to a recent survey conducted by Microsoft, 62% of Australian workers reported being burned out at work, compared to the global average of 48% of employees. 


In addition, studies conducted by the National Library of Medicine highlight that burnout can have severe repercussions on health, leading to conditions such as cardiovascular disease, musculoskeletal pain, compromised immune function, depression, and a profound sense of job dissatisfaction.  


Meanwhile, The Black Dog Institute estimates that the economic repercussions of burnout can be substantial. It assessed that the annual cost to the Australian economy — stemming from stress-related absenteeism and presenteeism (being physically present at work but underperforming due to stress) — amounts to around $14.8 billion. 


For this very reason, it is evident that a lack of flexible working conditions is a major factor contributing to this problem. 



3. Highly demanding profession 

It is also important to acknowledge that the accounting profession is no easy task. Aside from their longer hours of work, accountants are also required to have comprehensive understanding of various topics in areas like financial accounting, auditing, tax, business law, and technology.  


Given these demanding responsibilities, it is understandable for accountants to seek higher salaries. However, due to the intense competition for talents, it becomes difficult for companies to meet these demands, and as a result, many accountants resign from their roles in search of better career opportunities where their skills and contribution are more valued. 


Tips to Combat the Accountant Shortage in Australia 

To overcome these challenges, here are five (5) effective tips to combat accountant shortage in your firm: 


1. Flexibility and Remote Work 

Life can get hectic at times, and finding a balance between work and personal life is essential. It's no different to your accountants.  


By offering flexible work arrangements and remote work options, you can attract and retain talented accountants. Not only does this promote work-life balance, but it also enhances productivity and job satisfaction.  


You may also check out this article to know more why work life balance matters to combat the shortage of accountants. 


2. Proper Delegation of Workload 

Let's face it, workload can be overwhelming at times, especially when the task of five people is given to one individual. This means that tasks should be properly distributed to prevent burnout and high turnover rates—which sometimes result in shortages of the workforce. 


In addition, it is also highly recommended that you properly compensate each one of your employees—including accountants—to prevent such things from happening in your firm. 


Read: The Art of Delegation: How to Delegate Tasks Effectively 


3. Encourage Continuing Professional Development (CPD) 

Another effective way to address the accountant shortage is by encouraging your accountants to undertake Continuing Professional Development (CPD).


Aside from being an annual requirement, CPD will also help them keep their skills up-to-date and relevant, as well as ensure that they stay updated with new accounting standards and changes to legislation. You may also refer to this article by CPA Australia. 


By emphasizing the value of lifelong learning among your accountants, you are helping them address the challenges and helping them to stay competitive. After all knowledge is power. 


4. Invest in the Right Technology 

Aside from investing to training and educating your accountants, investing in the right technology can give you real time access to financial data and collaborate within your team seamlessly.  


You may also consider integrating artificial intelligence (AI) into your process so the workload would not be that heavy for your accountants.  


Using the right technology is a win-win situation for you and your accountant, since it can ease their workload and enhance the accuracy of financial reporting — preventing shortages of accountants by equipping them with the right technology. 


Read Next: Pros and Cons: Is AI Technology a Game Changer for Finance Teams? 


5. Outsource Accounting Services 

Outsourcing can be a game-changer in overcoming the accountant shortage. When you partner with a reputable service provider, you gain access to a diverse pool of highly skilled and experienced accounting professionals.  


Whether you have a shortage of accountants due to turnover or rapid business expansion, outsourcing can quickly provide the additional resources you need to keep your accounting functions running smoothly.  


In addition, outsourcing offers significant cost savings, reducing your need to spend hefty expenses associated with hiring, training, and retaining in-house accountants.  


The Bottom Line 

If you're serious about overcoming the accountant shortage in Australia and maintaining operational efficiency, it’s time to consider partnering with D&V Philippines.  


D&V Philippines is a trusted business process outsourcing firm that specializes in finance and accounting. With a global client base, we have the expertise and resources to support your firm. Schedule a free consultation with us today to learn how we can help you. 


You may also download our whitepaper Outsourcing: How to Make it Work to learn more about our services and how outsourcing can benefit your firm. 

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Our Outsourcing: How to Make it Work guide explores how you can utilize accounting and finance outsourcing to drive growth to your business and add value to your processes.